lead generation

You Know You Want It – But What is Lead Generation?

4-454x222If you’re in business, then you need leads. But what exactly is a lead? Well, that can mean different things depending upon your goals and objectives.As a marketer, my goal is to help businesses grow, but to do that, we need to clearly define the goals and objectives for obtaining that growth. Very often this leads to planning strategies and implementing campaigns for lead generation. Lead generation therefore needs to be defined: are you trying to get your brand name out into the marketplace, are you looking to increase engagement, or are you looking to get information? Before you launch your next campaign, I’ve outlined below various types of leads to help you to better define the term based on your goals and objectives:

Brand Exposure

A lead can be that moment where a potential customer comes into contact with your brand. We often don’t consider a page view, click, impression, or a page visit to be a lead as they may not equal instant sales, but they are a type of lead as they are indicators that let you know that you’ve reached people who are looking for what you’re selling. Depending on the platform, you may be able to track these individuals or engage them again. The important thing here is you’ve left an impression on them, and they now know you exist, potentially contacting you in the future – this is a lead.

Relationship Engagement

A follow or share on social media, a discussion in a LinkedIn group, or a new contact/connection on LinkedIn are all types of business development and engagement with you and a potential lead to form a relationship. Even though this may not result in an instant sale, there is now a relationship and conversation happening that wasn’t there before- this is a lead.

Information Exchange

Tracking individuals’ actions and identity via a content marketing tool or offering a free download in exchange for their information via an online form are perhaps two of the most direct ways of generating a lead. Although this approach has all the trappings of a “real lead” because you have lead information, until you determine if the “lead” is legitimate and actually make contact with the individual, this too might not instantly result in a sale.

Although there may not be immediate and direct revenue associated with these different types of leads, don’t write them off, as there is value in placing your brand in the customer’s mind so that when they are ready to purchase, you’ve made that impression they can refer back to.

What do you define as a lead? Does a lead have to result in instant revenue? Do you set objections and goals for your lead generation campaigns? If not, why not? I look forward to discussing your terms for lead generation.